Along Florida’s stunning Emerald Coast, the towns of Destin and Miramar Beach are known as premier destinations for water sports. With crystal-clear emerald waters, gentle waves, and diverse marine life, these Gulf Coast communities offer an unparalleled outdoor playground for visitors of all ages.

Throughout the year, the weather in this region is mild, making it an ideal spot for water-based activities. Winters have average highs in the 60s Fahrenheit, while summers are warm and sunny, with temperatures in the high 80s (F). The water temperature ranges from the low 70s in the winter to the mid-80s during the peak summer months.

Let’s dive into the top water sports you can look forward to for your next Destin vacation!


Destin and Miramar Beach offer an array of boating opportunities, from leisurely sightseeing excursions to adrenaline-fueled adventures on the open water. Visitors can embark on a dolphin-watching tour, enjoy a trip to Crab Island, or learn about the region’s diverse marine ecosystems on an eco-tour. For those seeking a bit more excitement, you can check out banana boat rides, pirate ship cruises, and fishing charters to cast your line into the area’s rich waters.


For a bird’s-eye view of the Emerald Coast, give parasailing a try. Soar high above the Gulf of Mexico, taking in panoramic views of the white sand beaches and sparkling waters from 400 feet in the air. This thrilling activity is suitable for all ages and provides an unforgettable experience.


Paddle through the tranquil Destin Harbor or venture out into the Gulf of Mexico on a kayak. This peaceful activity allows you to immerse yourself in the area’s natural beauty, with the opportunity to spot dolphins, sea turtles, and a variety of bird species. Kayak rentals are readily available, and guided tours can provide valuable insights into the local ecosystem.

Jet Skiing

Family jet skiing in Destin

For an adrenaline-fueled experience, hop on a jet ski and carve through the waves. Numerous rental companies in the Destin area offer a range of jet skis, with guided tours offering a next-level adventure. Explore the coastline, venture out to Crab Island, or simply race across the open water – there are endless places to take a jet ski throughout Destin and Miramar Beach.

Scuba Diving

Explore the vibrant coral reefs, sunken shipwrecks, and diverse marine life that call the Gulf of Mexico home. Local Destin dive shops offer equipment rentals, certification courses, and guided excursions to ensure a safe and memorable diving experience. For less experienced divers, SNUBA (a hybrid of snorkeling and scuba diving) offers the underwater breathing experience without requiring certification and can be a great way to dip your toe into the scuba diving world.


Destin and Miramar Beach offer excellent conditions for surfing, especially during the fall and spring, when the waves are larger. While this area may not be known for monster swells, the consistent waves are perfect for surfers of all skill levels. Beginners can learn all the basics at surf school and surfboard rentals are readily available. Wave riders can also enjoy the surf closer to shore on a boogie board or skim board, which can be rented or purchased at beach gear shops.


Group snorkeling in Destin

The clear waters of the Emerald Coast offer exceptional snorkeling opportunities. Discover the vibrant marine life that thrives in the area, including schools of tropical fish, sea turtles, and dolphins. Whether you venture around the nearby jetties or explore the shallows along the shoreline, snorkeling is a great way to connect with the underwater world. 

Kite Surfing

For the ultimate adrenaline rush, consider trying your hand at kite surfing. This high-speed water sport combines the thrill of surfing with the power of a kite, allowing you to glide across the waves at exhilarating speeds. Beginners are encouraged to take a lesson to learn the fundamentals before heading out.

Stand Up Paddle Boarding

Glide across the calm, crystal-clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the Destin Harbor on a stand-up paddleboard (SUP). This increasingly popular activity offers a close-up view of the area’s natural beauty, allowing you to spot marine life and explore secluded coves. Whether you’re a beginner or seasoned paddler, the gentle waves and protected waterways make Destin and Miramar Beach an ideal destination for this serene sport.

Plan Your Visit

Oceanfront Destin condo

The sparkling shores of Destin and Miramar Beach beckon visitors to explore the emerald waters of the Florida Gulf Coast. With such a vast array of water-based activities to choose from, Destin and Miramar Beach truly offer something for everyone. Book your Destin vacation rental today and get ready to make a splash on the Emerald Coast!

Florida beaches are renowned for their stunning beauty and vibrant atmosphere, but have you ever wondered which ones stand out in the Destin area? Whether you’re planning a family vacation or an intimate getaway, choosing the perfect beach can make or break your experience.

So, are you ready to embark on a beach-hopping journey to uncover the top public beaches in this coastal paradise? From pristine oases with sugar-white sand dunes to picturesque spots that showcase the true essence of beach life, let’s delve into the best beaches in Florida!

Henderson Beach State Park

Located in the heart of Destin, Henderson Beach State Park is a pristine oasis that epitomizes the beauty of the Gulf Coast. With its miles of sugar-white sand dunes and deep emerald waters, this beach offers a mesmerizing scene for visitors.

Pristine Oasis: Henderson Beach State Park is a hidden gem on the Gulf Coast, offering a tranquil and unspoiled environment for beachgoers.

Sugar-White Sand Dunes: The beach at Henderson Beach State Park boasts stunning sugar-white sand dunes, providing a picturesque backdrop for your beach adventures.

Nature Enthusiasts: The park is a haven for nature enthusiasts, with its diverse ecosystem and abundant wildlife. Take a leisurely stroll along the hiking trail and immerse yourself in the beauty of the surroundings.

Beachcombing: With its pristine shores, Henderson Beach State Park is the perfect spot for beachcombing. Discover seashells, sand dollars, and other treasures as you explore the coastline.

Designated Picnic Areas: Enjoy a delicious picnic with your family and friends at one of the park’s designated picnic areas. 

Experience the natural wonders of Henderson Beach State Park, where the Gulf Coast’s beauty comes alive.

Crystal Beach

Crystal Beach, located in Destin, Florida, is a beach paradise known for its crystal-clear waters and powdery white sands. This stunning beach offers a serene and picturesque setting for visitors to indulge in the beauty of nature.

The beachfront homes that line the shore add a charming touch to the beach’s ambiance, creating a peaceful and quaint atmosphere. Whether you’re looking to rent a beachfront home or simply enjoy the view, Crystal Beach offers a truly enchanting experience.

Visitors to Crystal Beach can partake in a variety of activities that take advantage of the beach’s idyllic setting. The calm and clear waters are perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and enjoying water sports like paddleboarding and kayaking.

For those seeking relaxation, sunbathing on the soft sands is a must. The powdery white sands provide the perfect backdrop for soaking up the sun and enjoying the tranquility of the beach.

If you’re looking for some friendly competition, Crystal Beach also offers beach volleyball courts where you can gather with friends and family for a lively game on the sand.

Activities at Crystal Beach:

  • Swimming in crystal-clear waters
  • Snorkeling to explore marine life
  • Sunbathing on the powdery white sands
  • Water sports like paddleboarding and kayaking
  • Beach volleyball for some friendly competition

Whether you’re seeking adventure or simply looking to relax and soak up the stunning surroundings, Crystal Beach is the perfect destination for beach lovers of all kinds. Come and experience the beauty and serenity of Crystal Beach for yourself!

Norriego Point

Norriego Point is a hidden gem in Destin, Florida, offering visitors a serene and picturesque beach experience. With its calm and clear waters, this beach is perfect for a relaxing day by the sea. 

One of the highlights of Norriego Point is its excellent snorkeling opportunities. Explore the vibrant underwater world and discover an array of colorful marine life. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced snorkeler, the crystal-clear waters of Norriego Point provide the ideal conditions for this popular water activity.

But Norriego Point offers more than just snorkeling. From the beach, you can marvel at the breathtaking views of the Destin Harbor and East Pass. Watch as boats pass by, adding a charm to the tranquil surroundings. It’s the perfect spot for boat-watching enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

To access Norriego Point, you can take a water taxi or embark on a short hike, immersing yourself in the natural beauty of the area. Once you arrive, you’ll be greeted by the peace and serenity that this beach has to offer. Whether you’re looking for a quiet spot to unwind or an adventure in snorkeling, Norriego Point has it all.

Miramar Beach

Miramar Beach is a must-visit destination for beach enthusiasts seeking a classic beach town ambiance with modern amenities. This vibrant beach offers a perfect blend of old-world charm and a lively coastal atmosphere.

The emerald-green waters of Miramar Beach are mesmerizing and create a stunning backdrop against the sugar-white sands. The pristine shoreline stretches for miles, inviting visitors to relax, soak up the sun, and enjoy the breathtaking views.

For those seeking adventure, Miramar Beach offers a wide range of water activities to satisfy every thrill-seeker. Visitors can embark on exciting water sports like parasailing, paddleboarding, and jet skiing. Dive into the crystal-clear waters and explore the vibrant marine life beneath the surface.

Just a stone’s throw away from the beach is the Silver Sands Outlet Center, a shopper’s paradise with a vast selection of stores. Take a break from the sun and indulge in some retail therapy, whether you’re looking for the latest fashion trends or unique souvenirs to bring back home.

Whether you’re strolling along the shoreline, taking a refreshing dip in the emerald-green waters, or browsing through the shops at Silver Sands Outlet Center, Miramar Beach offers a quintessential beach experience that is sure to create lasting memories.

James Lee Beach

James Lee Beach is a pristine gem along the Emerald Coast. With its powdery white sands and crystal-clear waters, this beach provides a tranquil escape from the crowded beaches in the area.

Visitors to James Lee Beach can indulge in a variety of water activities, making it a perfect destination for adventure seekers. Whether it’s fishing, kayaking, paddleboarding, or simply swimming in the refreshing waters, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

This family-friendly beach also offers amenities like picnic pavilions and playgrounds, making it an ideal spot for a fun-filled day with loved ones.

Highlights of James Lee Beach:

  • Pristine powdery white sands
  • Crystal-clear waters
  • Water activities such as fishing, kayaking, and paddleboarding
  • Family-friendly amenities including picnic pavilions and playgrounds

Whether you’re looking to relax on the pristine shores or embark on exciting water adventures, James Lee Beach is the perfect destination to unwind and create lasting memories.

Crab Island

Crab Island is not your typical beach but a vibrant underwater sandbar. It is a popular destination for locals and tourists, accessible only by a boat ride. 

Visitors can enjoy a range of water sports in the emerald green waters, such as swimming, snorkeling, and more. The calm and clear waters make it a perfect spot for exploring the underwater marine life. 

But Crab Island is not just about water sports; it’s also known for its lively atmosphere. There are floating restaurants where you can grab a bite to eat or have a refreshing drink while enjoying the stunning views. 

Live music adds to the vibrant ambiance, creating a festive atmosphere for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re looking for a thrilling adventure in the water or prefer to relax and enjoy the live music, Crab Island has something for everyone.

Blue Mountain Beach

Blue Mountain Beach offers a unique atmosphere with its stunning lupine flowers and serene surroundings. This picturesque beach provides ample space for outdoor activities and relaxation, making it a perfect destination for beach lovers.

Outdoor Activities:

  • Swimming: Take a dip in the crystal-clear waters of Blue Mountain Beach and enjoy the refreshing waves.
  • Sunbathing: Bask in the warm sun on the powdery white sands, creating a memorable beach experience.
  • Fishing: Cast your line and try your luck at catching some local fish species.
  • Kayaking and Stand-up Paddleboarding: Explore the coastal waters and take in the breathtaking views while engaging in these popular water activities.

Scenic Timpoochee Trail: Visitors can embark on a scenic adventure by exploring the Timpoochee Trail, a paved path that stretches along the Gulf of Mexico. This trail offers breathtaking views, ideal for biking, jogging, or leisurely walks.

Local Shops and Restaurants: Blue Mountain Beach is surrounded by charming local shops and restaurants, providing visitors with an opportunity to explore the area’s unique offerings. From boutique stores to eclectic eateries, there is no shortage of options to satisfy any taste or preference.

Experience the enchanting beauty and outdoor charm that Blue Mountain Beach has to offer. Whether you seek an active day filled with outdoor activities or a peaceful retreat amidst breathtaking natural scenery, this beach promises an unforgettable experience.

Okaloosa Island Beach

Located on a barrier island along the stunning Gulf of Mexico, Okaloosa Island Beach is a tranquil haven that offers a serene retreat for beach lovers. This hidden gem provides breathtaking panoramas of the emerald-green waters and the picturesque Choctawhatchee Bay.

Visitors to Okaloosa Island Beach can indulge in a variety of activities that showcase the natural beauty of the area. Sailing enthusiasts can set sail on the calm waters of the Gulf, while fishing enthusiasts can cast their lines and try their luck at catching the day’s fresh catch.

One of the highlights of Okaloosa Island Beach is the bustling boardwalk, which is filled with an array of eateries and shops offering a delightful selection of local cuisine and unique souvenirs. Strolling along the boardwalk is a great way to soak in the lively atmosphere and enjoy the vibrant energy of the beach.

For those seeking a more adventurous experience, Okaloosa Island Beach offers a range of water sports activities. Whether it’s paddleboarding, jet skiing, or parasailing, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Key Highlights of Okaloosa Island Beach:

  • Tranquil haven on a barrier island with stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico and Choctawhatchee Bay
  • A bustling boardwalk filled with eateries and shops
  • Exciting water sports activities for the adventurous at heart

End your day at Okaloosa Island Beach by taking in one of nature’s most beautiful displays – a mesmerizing sunset over the Gulf. The vibrant hues of orange and pink painting the sky make for a truly memorable and romantic experience.

With its tranquil ambiance, scenic beauty, and an array of activities, Okaloosa Island Beach is a must-visit destination for those seeking a peaceful getaway on the Gulf Coast.

Grayton Beach State Park

Grayton Beach State Park is a hidden gem nestled along the stunning Emerald Coast of Florida. Renowned for its untouched natural beauty and serene atmosphere, it is a tranquil beach paradise that captivates nature lovers

As you stroll along Grayton Beach, you’ll be enchanted by the rhythmic sound of crashing waves and the gentle rustle of sea oats dancing in the sea breeze. The park’s vast expanse of pristine sand dunes, salt marshes, and coastal dune lakes provide a picturesque backdrop for a peaceful escape.

Grayton Beach State Park offers a myriad of activities for visitors. Explore the diverse ecosystem on a hike through the coastal forests, where you may spot native wildlife and unique bird species. Cast your fishing line into the crystal-clear waters, surrounded by the breathtaking scenery. For the adventurous, embark on a kayaking or paddleboarding expedition, gliding through the calm waters of Western Lake. 

Whether you choose to relax on the sandy shores, immerse yourself in the tranquil surroundings, or engage in outdoor adventures, Grayton Beach State Park is a haven that offers solace and awe-inspiring beauty for all who seek it.

Are you ready to elevate your beachside experience in Destin, Florida? Look no further than the top rooftop bars that offer not only breathtaking ocean views but also unforgettable moments of relaxation and indulgence. From sipping hand-crafted cocktails while lounging by a rooftop pool to savoring delectable cuisine amidst panoramic vistas, these hidden gems will take your Destin getaway to new heights.

But wait, which are the best rooftop bars in Destin Florida that truly embody the essence of this coastal paradise? Have you uncovered the top rooftop bars Destin FL has to offer that will make you question everything you thought you knew about beachfront dining? Prepare to be amazed as we unveil the thriving rooftop scene in Destin, where paradise meets panorama in the most extraordinary way.

The Edge Seafood Restaurant & SkyBar

The Edge Seafood Restaurant & SkyBar is a premier waterfront destination located on the breathtaking Emerald Coast of Florida. As one of the top rooftop bars in Destin, this establishment offers an unforgettable experience with its stunning ocean views and vibrant atmosphere.

At The Edge Seafood Restaurant & SkyBar, guests can indulge in a wide range of culinary delights, from freshly caught seafood to handcrafted cocktails. The rooftop SkyBar provides the perfect setting to enjoy the panoramic vistas stretching all the way to the Gulf of Mexico while savoring the flavors of the region.

With its prime location directly on top of the water, The Edge Seafood Restaurant & SkyBar offers a unique alfresco dining experience unlike any other. Whether you’re looking to enjoy a romantic evening under the stars or celebrate a special occasion with friends, this waterfront restaurant is the ideal destination.

As a bonus, The Edge Seafood Restaurant & SkyBar features a daily happy hour, complete with special offers on drinks and small plates. This allows guests to indulge in their favorite libations and bites while taking in the enchanting ocean views.

Don’t miss the opportunity to visit The Edge Seafood Restaurant & SkyBar, where delectable cuisine, stunning views, and a lively atmosphere come together to create a truly memorable experience.

Pescado in Rosemary Beach

Pescado rooftop bar in 30a

Pescado in Rosemary Beach is a stylish rooftop bar and fine dining restaurant that offers breathtaking views of the Gulf of Mexico. Situated in the beautiful beachfront neighborhood of Rosemary Beach, Pescado provides an upscale and sophisticated atmosphere for guests to enjoy.

With both indoor and outdoor seating options, Pescado allows visitors to savor their meals while taking in the stunning ocean views and magical sunsets that the Gulf of Mexico offers. The rooftop dining experience creates a unique and memorable ambiance, perfect for romantic dinners or special occasions.

The menu at Pescado is a tantalizing mix of new-American, Asian-fusion, and seafood cuisine, sure to please even the most discerning palate. Guests can indulge in delectable dishes crafted with the finest ingredients and expertly prepared by the talented culinary team.

For those looking for a relaxing afternoon, Pescado also offers a popular Sunday brunch. With a delectable menu featuring a variety of mouthwatering options, guests can start their day off right with a delicious brunch accompanied by stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico.

Pescado not only provides an exceptional dining experience but also offers a wide selection of signature cocktails and pre-dinner drinks. Guests can sip on expertly crafted libations while enjoying the vibrant atmosphere and soaking in the beauty of Rosemary Beach.

Whether you’re looking for rooftop dining, a beachfront restaurant, or simply breathtaking Gulf of Mexico views, Pescado in Rosemary Beach is a must-visit destination. Immerse yourself in the elegance and culinary delights that this rooftop bar has to offer.

Ara Rooftop Pool & Lounge at Hotel Effie Sandestin

Ara restaurant in Destin

Ara Rooftop Pool & Lounge at Hotel Effie Sandestin is the perfect destination for those seeking elevated food, drinks, and views. This rooftop bar offers a luxurious rooftop pool surrounded by 360° panoramic views of the stunning Emerald Coast and Northwest Florida. Guests can unwind and relax in comfortable poolside loungers while soaking up the sun and taking in the breathtaking scenery.

A Stylish Rooftop Lounge for Artisanal Cocktails

For those looking to enjoy a refreshing libation, Ara Rooftop features a stylish rooftop lounge that serves hand-crafted artisanal cocktails. From classic favorites to innovative creations, their extensive drink menu has something for everyone. Sip on carefully curated cocktails made with premium spirits, infused with fresh ingredients, and garnished with creative flair.

Ambience and Entertainment

The rooftop lounge at Ara Rooftop provides a stylish and vibrant setting to socialize and unwind. Live DJs set the perfect atmosphere, spinning tunes that complement the stunning views and enhance the overall experience. Guests can also enjoy a variety of board games and indulge in conversations while relishing the panoramic views of the surrounding area.

An Unparalleled Rooftop Pool Experience

The rooftop pool at Ara Rooftop is the perfect oasis to cool off and take a refreshing dip. The pool area is meticulously designed with luxurious loungers and chic decor, creating a serene ambiance for relaxation and enjoyment. Whether you want to take a leisurely swim or simply bask in the sun, the rooftop pool offers an unparalleled experience with its breathtaking views and stylish design. 

At Ara Rooftop Pool & Lounge, guests can enjoy the best of both worlds – a stunning rooftop pool and a stylish lounge area with artisanal cocktails. This destination promises an unforgettable experience with its panoramic views, stylish ambience, and impeccable service.

North Drop Bar in Pensacola Beach

North Drop Bar at the Grand Marlin

The North Drop Bar is a hidden gem nestled on the second floor of a modern seafood and steakhouse restaurant (The Grand Marlin) in Pensacola Beach. Situated right along the picturesque coastline, this rooftop bar offers a serene beachside setting with breathtaking waterfront views of Pensacola Bay. Guests can unwind and soak in the beauty of the Santa Rosa Sound while sipping on handcrafted cocktails that perfectly capture the essence of the Pensacola Bay area.

With its expansive and relaxed atmosphere, the North Drop Bar provides the ideal backdrop for enjoying a casual and friendly evening. Whether you’re seeking a refreshing drink after a long day at the beach or looking to indulge in a delicious seafood or steak dish, this rooftop bar offers a diverse menu that is sure to delight your taste buds.

Unwind and Savor Spectacular Sunset Views

Sunset views over the Santa Rosa Sound are one of the highlights of the North Drop Bar experience. As the sun paints the sky with vibrant hues, guests can bask in the magical ambiance and create lasting memories.

Creative Cocktails Inspired by Pensacola Bay

The North Drop Bar boasts an impressive cocktail list that showcases the unique flavors and spirits of Pensacola Bay. From iconic classics to innovative concoctions, each drink is expertly crafted to complement the panoramic views and enhance your overall rooftop bar experience.

A Feast for the Senses

Indulge in the freshest seafood and prime cuts of steak while enjoying the coastal breeze. The menu at the North Drop Bar features a delectable selection of dishes that highlight the region’s abundant seafood offerings and celebrate the rich culinary heritage of Pensacola Beach.

Whether you’re a local looking for a new favorite hotspot or a visitor seeking an unforgettable rooftop dining experience, the North Drop Bar in Pensacola Beach is a must-visit destination. With its waterfront views, sunset vistas, handcrafted cocktails, and mouthwatering cuisine, this rooftop gem promises an evening of pure enjoyment and relaxation.

Havana Beach Rooftop Lounge at The Pearl Hotel

Havana Bar in Rosemary Beach

The Pearl Hotel in Rosemary Beach is home to the vibrant Havana Beach Bar & Grill and the Havana Beach Rooftop Lounge. While both venues are closely linked, the rooftop lounge offers its own unique menu of shareable plates and a slice of genuine ocean-side atmosphere. 

Guests can enjoy the bright colors and vibrant energy of the Havana Beach Rooftop Lounge. The rooftop lounge features comfortable loungers, cozy cabanas, and even hammocks, creating a relaxed and inviting space for guests to unwind and take in the stunning views. 

Caribbean-influenced cuisine takes center stage at the Havana Beach Rooftop Lounge. The menu is filled with delicious and flavorful dishes, from fresh seafood to delectable small plates that are perfect for sharing. 

As you savor your food and drinks, you’ll be transported to a tropical paradise with every bite. The menu includes classic favorites as well as unique and innovative creations, all inspired by the vibrant flavors of the Caribbean. 

Indulge in Caribbean-inspired cocktails as you soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the magnificent ocean-side views. From refreshing rum-based concoctions to tropical fruit-infused mixes, the drink menu at Havana Beach Rooftop Lounge will transport your taste buds to a beachside paradise. 

Whether you’re looking for a rooftop lounge experience or a Caribbean-inspired dining experience, the Havana Beach Rooftop Lounge at The Pearl Hotel is a top choice. Take in the breathtaking views, savor the delicious cuisine, and let the vibrant atmosphere whisk you away to a world of relaxation and indulgence.

Bud & Alley’s Rooftop Bar in Seaside

Bud and Alley's Roof Deck Bar

Bud & Alley’s Rooftop Bar in Seaside is a classic gathering place that has been serving good food and good times since 1987. Located right on the waterfront, this rooftop bar offers both indoor and outdoor dining areas, but the highlight is the second-floor rooftop terrace and bar.

Guests can enjoy fantastic views over the Gulf of Mexico while indulging in farm-to-table American and seafood dishes or sipping on specialty cocktails. The menu features a variety of options, from fresh salads and mouthwatering burgers to locally sourced seafood. With a commitment to using seasonal ingredients, Bud & Alley’s rooftop bar ensures a true farm-to-table experience.

As you unwind on the rooftop terrace, you’ll be captivated by the breathtaking waterfront views and the serene ambiance. Whether you’re enjoying a romantic evening, catching up with friends, or simply seeking a relaxing atmosphere, Bud & Alley’s Rooftop Bar in Seaside is the perfect spot. Soak in the beauty of the Gulf of Mexico, savor the flavors of the coast, and delight in the specialty cocktails crafted by skilled mixologists.

If you are planning a family vacation to Miramar Beach or Destin and wondering how to keep the little ones entertained, this area has a wide variety of kid-friendly things to do! With its pristine beaches, exciting attractions, and delicious dining options, the Florida Gulf Coast offers lots of activities that are sure to delight kids of all ages. Let’s dive into the top activities and attractions for kids in Miramar Beach and Destin.

Make it a Beach Day

Beautiful white sand and turquoise water of Miramar Beach

Miramar Beach and Destin boast some of the most beautiful stretches of sand in the world, perfect for building sandcastles, finding seashells or simply splashing in the gentle emerald waters. Parents and grandparents can relax under a beach umbrella while the kids frolic in the surf, making memories that will last a lifetime. Don’t forget to pack sunscreen, towels, and plenty of snacks for a day of beachside fun!

Henderson Beach State Park is a great choice for families, with gentle waves and a wide stretch of sand, as well as nature trails winding through sand dunes. James Lee Beach is another family-friendly beach, with extra clear water, facilities and a playground for the kids. Norriego Point Beach is an exciting spot for those with young children, as they can marvel at the boat traffic going by while swimming in protected coves and spotting small marine creatures. The best months for swimming in Destin and Miramar Beach is typically April through September. While the water is typically calm in this part of Florida, make sure to pay attention to the color of the beach warning flag that day, as conditions can change drastically from day to day.

Family-Friendly Attractions

Big Kahunas Water Park in Destin

When you’re ready for a break from the beach, there are plenty of kid-friendly attractions to explore in the area. 

Adventure Parks – One must-visit spot is Big Kahuna’s Water & Adventure Park, where you’ll find thrilling water slides, lazy rivers, and even a mini-golf course. The mini-golf course is open year-round, while the water park typically opens in mid-April. The whole family can spend the day racing down slides and cooling off in the wave pool. Or if you would rather stay dry, head to The Track Family Fun Park for go-kart racing, bumper boats, and arcade games. 

Marine Park – Animal lovers will enjoy a trip to the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park, where you’ll find a conservation-focused educational and entertaining experience. Watch dolphins, sea lions, and otters perform amazing tricks, get up close and personal with stingrays and sharks in the touch tanks, or interact with reptiles, seals and turtles in an animal encounter. This is a destination that appeals across generations, parents and grandparents included.

Water Sports – A boat tour in Destin is a time-honored vacation tradition that truly brings together the whole family. Some of the most popular tours for families visiting Destin include dolphin watching, snorkeling tours, sunset cruises, fishing charters and visits to Crab Island. For a unique experience, the Buccaneer Pirate Cruise is a family-friendly adventure, with songs, mock battles and a treasure hunt on board a pirate ship. If you prefer to go out on your own, there are plenty of pontoon and jet ski rentals available in Destin Harbor.

Shopping & Entertainment – Destin and Miramar Beach have pedestrian-friendly shopping and entertainment hubs with lots of family-friendly activities and attractions. Harborwalk Village is an entertainment center with live concerts and fireworks shows in addition to a variety of shops and restaurants. This is a great place to book a boat tour, and there is also an adventure zone with a zipline, bungy trampoline, and more. Destin Commons is an outdoor complex full of shops, restaurants and family-friendly entertainment. The IMAX theater, playground, splash pad and mini-train will provide hours of fun for the whole family.

Mini Golf – Mini golf is one of Florida’s most popular family-friendly activities, and for good reason! Families can enjoy themed courses with unique obstacles, lush landscaping, scenic views, and perfect weather, creating memorable experiences for visitors of all ages. The Destin and Miramar Beach area has several great courses to choose from, including Big Kahuna’s Water & Adventure Park, Rainforest Black Light Golf & Arcade, The Track Family Fun Park, and Dunes Family Putting Course, amongst others.

Kid-Friendly Destin Dining

Lulus family-friendly restaurant in Destin

After a day of adventure, satisfy your appetite at one of Miramar Beach and Destin’s many family-friendly restaurants. 

  • For a casual meal with a view, check out The Back Porch in Destin where you can enjoy fresh seafood and Gulf Coast specialties while overlooking the ocean. They also have a separate kid’s menu. 
  • Kids with lots of energy will love the atmosphere at Fudpucker’s, where the kid-friendly meal includes admission to the attached playground and Gator Beach, where you can interact with live alligators. 
  • Lulu’s is a laid-back waterfront restaurant that caters to families with a kid-friendly menu, face painting and an arcade.
  • The Donut Hole in Miramar Beach is famous for its mouth watering donuts and hearty breakfast dishes that will fuel your family for another day of exploration.

Ready to start planning your family vacation to Miramar Beach and Destin? With endless opportunities for fun, this Gulf Coast destination is the perfect place for a family getaway. Book your Beach Bums vacation rental today and get ready for an unforgettable experience with your loved ones. Your family adventure awaits in Miramar Beach and Destin!

When it comes to dining in Destin, Florida, the options are truly exceptional. Our beautiful coastal city offers a plethora of top-rated restaurants that cater to every culinary preference. Whether you’re a seafood enthusiast or seeking international flavors, the Destin area has it all. But there’s a lot to choose from, and can be difficult to narrow it down and decide where to go. In this article, we will take a closer look at some of our favorite dining choices in the Destin area, including restaurants with exquisite seafood, fine dining, and breathtaking beachfront views.

From the lively atmosphere of Tommy Bahama in Sandestin to the authentic Mexican cuisine with a modern twist at Cantina Laredo, there’s something for everyone. If you’re craving fresh seafood, Stewby’s Seafood Shanty on Okaloosa Island is a must-visit, or you might want to indulge in quality steamed seafood and exceptional steaks at Old Bay Steamer. For those looking for a fun and vibrant experience, Lulu’s in Destin offers seafood favorites with a southern flair.

Emeril’s Coastal in Sandestin takes seafood dining to another level with its coastal Italian cuisine and delectable seafood specialties. With such an array of dining options, it’s no wonder that Destin, Florida is known for its top-rated restaurants, making it a go-to destination for food enthusiasts.

Tommy Bahama – Sandestin

Tommy Bahama Sandestin

Tommy Bahama in Sandestin offers a true island dining experience with its airy ceilings, lush tropical interiors, and island-inspired fare. Guests can savor fresh, island-inspired dishes prepared by the chef, or unwind with a signature cocktail. The restaurant is located at Grand Boulevard at Sandestin and welcomes both reservations and walk-ins.

Tommy Bahama Sandestin is renowned for its menu filled with delicious island-inspired dishes. From fresh seafood to succulent steaks, guests can indulge in a variety of flavorful options. The menu highlights the vibrant flavors of the islands, utilizing locally sourced ingredients to create unforgettable culinary creations.

One of the standout features of Tommy Bahama Sandestin is its extensive drink menu. From classic margaritas to unique craft cocktails, the bar offers a variety of signature cocktails to complement your meal. Guests can sip on refreshing concoctions while enjoying the laid-back ambiance and stunning views.

The restaurant’s tropical atmosphere sets the stage for a memorable dining experience. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or simply looking to enjoy a night out, Tommy Bahama Sandestin provides the perfect setting. The open-air design and beachy decor transport diners to a paradise-like setting, creating an unforgettable dining experience.

Island-Inspired Fare

At Tommy Bahama Sandestin, the menu is filled with island-inspired dishes that capture the flavors of the Caribbean and the Hawaiian Islands. From fresh seafood to tropical fruits, each dish is crafted with care to bring out the vibrant flavors of the islands.

Start your meal with appetizers like the Coconut Shrimp or the Ahi Poke Nachos, both bursting with flavors and served in generous portions. For the main course, indulge in the Island Hopper Combo, featuring a combination of wood-grilled shrimp, mahi-mahi, and coconut-crusted shrimp.

Vegetarians and vegans will also find plenty of options at Tommy Bahama Sandestin. The Plant-Based Paella, made with saffron-infused rice, vegetables, and plant-based chorizo, is a standout dish that will satisfy even the most discerning palates.

Signature Cocktails

No island-inspired dining experience would be complete without a selection of signature cocktails. Tommy Bahama Sandestin offers an impressive array of handcrafted drinks that perfectly complement the flavors of the dishes.

Indulge in a classic Margarita, made with fresh lime juice and top-quality tequila, or try one of the restaurant’s unique creations like the Mango Smash, a refreshing blend of mango, mint, lime, and rum. For those seeking a non-alcoholic option, the Pineapple Paradise Mocktail is a delightful choice, combining pineapple, coconut, lime, and soda.

With its extensive drink menu and skillful mixologists, Tommy Bahama Sandestin is the perfect place to kick back, relax, and enjoy a delicious island-inspired cocktail.

Cantina Laredo – Sandestin

Cantina Laredo in SandestinCantina Laredo in Sandestin offers a unique dining experience with its authentic Mexican food served with a modern twist. Guests can enjoy a variety of dishes that showcase the vibrant flavors of Mexico, all prepared with the highest quality ingredients.

From the moment you step into Cantina Laredo, you’ll be greeted with a warm and inviting atmosphere. The restaurant’s contemporary design, featuring natural woods and warm colors, creates a relaxed and comfortable ambiance.

Start your culinary journey with the wide selection of appetizers, including guacamole prepared tableside, ceviche, and queso fundido. Then, dive into the main course and indulge in delicious options like grilled fish, chicken, or steak. Each dish is cooked to perfection and served with signature sauces that add a burst of flavor. Don’t forget to try the chipotle-wine sauce and the Portobello mushroom sauce for a truly unforgettable dining experience.

To complement your meal, Cantina Laredo offers an extensive drink menu. Their award-winning margaritas are made from fresh lime juice and the finest tequila, providing a refreshing and authentic Mexican cocktail experience.

At Cantina Laredo, every dish is crafted with passion and authenticity, ensuring that each bite is a celebration of Mexican cuisine. Whether you’re indulging in a romantic dinner for two or enjoying a lively gathering with friends and family, Cantina Laredo offers an unforgettable culinary experience that combines traditional flavors with a modern twist.

Stewby’s Seafood Shanty – Okaloosa Island

Stewby’s Seafood Shanty on Okaloosa Island is a seafood lover’s paradise, offering the freshest catch on the Emerald Coast. With aStewby's in Destin FL commitment to quality and sustainability, Stewby’s sources its seafood locally, ensuring that every bite is bursting with the authentic flavors of the Gulf. Whether you prefer your seafood grilled to perfection or crispy and golden fried, Stewby’s has got you covered.

Located on Okaloosa Island, Stewby’s Seafood Shanty is a hidden gem that shouldn’t be missed. Step inside and immerse yourself in the cozy atmosphere that perfectly complements the mouthwatering dishes. The menu features a variety of options, from shrimp and fish to crab cakes and oysters, all prepared with great attention to detail.

For those looking for a unique dining experience, Stewby’s Steamer & Market, located right next door, offers a delightful steamed dinner menu that will satisfy even the most discerning palates. Indulge in succulent crawfish, plump shrimp, flavorful grouper, and more, all expertly steamed to perfection.

Old Bay Steamer – Okaloosa Island

Old Bay Steamer restaurantFor an unparalleled dining experience in Okaloosa Island, look no further than Old Bay Steamer. This renowned restaurant is known for its exceptional steaks, quality steamed seafood, and locally famous ribs. With a menu that showcases a tantalizing array of options, Old Bay Steamer is a must-visit destination for seafood enthusiasts.

Steamed seafood takes center stage at Old Bay Steamer, offering guests a taste of the ocean’s bounty. Indulge in succulent Maine lobster tails, king and snow crab legs, royal red shrimp, clams, mussels, and oysters, all expertly prepared to perfection. Each dish is infused with the flavors of the sea, delivering a truly memorable dining experience.

Not to be overshadowed by the seafood, Old Bay Steamer also offers a selection of exceptional steaks. Sink your teeth into tender cuts of prime beef, expertly grilled to your desired level of perfection. From filet mignon to ribeye, the steaks at Old Bay Steamer are sure to satisfy even the most discerning carnivores.

And let’s not forget about the locally famous ribs. These fall-off-the-bone delights are slow-cooked to perfection, ensuring a flavor-packed experience that will have you coming back for more.

Whether you’re a seafood lover, steak aficionado, or looking to indulge in some mouthwatering ribs, Old Bay Steamer is the place to be. Don’t miss out on this exceptional dining experience in the heart of Okaloosa Island.

Lulu’s – Destin

Lulu's Destin

Looking for a lively dining experience that combines seafood favorites with a touch of southern flair? Look no further than Lulu’s in Destin. This vibrant restaurant offers a variety of dishes, from mouthwatering seafood options to allergy-friendly choices, all served with a southern twist.

At Lulu’s, you can indulge in classic seafood favorites like shrimp, crab, oysters, and fish cooked to perfection. The menu is thoughtfully crafted to cater to every palate, ensuring there is something for everyone to enjoy.

But Lulu’s is more than just a restaurant. It offers a complete experience for its guests. After a delicious meal, you can take advantage of the additional amenities available. Embrace the beauty of the bay with paddleboarding, challenge your friends to arcade games, or unwind at the bayside bar while sipping on your favorite drink.

Enjoy the lively ambiance of live music and explore the gift shop, where you can find unique treasures as a souvenir of your visit to Lulu’s. The fantastic atmosphere and the friendly staff add to the overall charm, making your visit a truly memorable one.

Additional Amenities at Lulu’s:

  • Paddleboarding
  • Arcade Games
  • Bayside Bar
  • Live Music
  • Gift Shop

Discover the perfect blend of delicious seafood, southern charm, and entertainment at Lulu’s in Destin. Whether you’re a seafood enthusiast, looking for a lively atmosphere, or want to experience the true flavors of the south, Lulu’s is the place to be.

Emeril’s Coastal – Sandestin

Experience a taste of coastal Italy at Emeril’s Coastal in Sandestin, where the flavors of the sea meet the richness of Italian cuisine. ThisEmerils in Destin renowned restaurant offers a unique seafood dining experience that will leave your taste buds wanting more.

Indulge in a menu filled with coastal Italian specialties that highlight the freshest seafood ingredients. Start your culinary journey with the Gulf shrimp cocktail, a refreshing and tangy appetizer that sets the stage for an unforgettable meal. For something a bit more decadent, try the Florida rock shrimp rolls, bursting with flavor and served with a zesty dipping sauce.

If you’re craving pasta, don’t miss the oyster spaghetti. This pasta dish showcases the marriage of land and sea, with plump oysters nestled in homemade pasta and coated in a delectable sauce. Each bite is a symphony of flavors that will transport you to the Italian coast.

The atmosphere at Emeril’s Coastal is casual and coastal, offering a perfect blend of elegance and relaxation. Located at Grand Boulevard in Miramar Beach, this restaurant is a haven for seafood enthusiasts and those seeking the finest in coastal Italian cuisine. Whether you’re looking for a romantic dinner for two or a memorable dining experience with friends, Emeril’s Coastal is the place to be.